Is Google SkyNet? In a word: Yes. In fact, in some ways, it’s even smarter. SkyNet didn’t assume worldwide domination until 2029, while Google has already effectively monopolized search and it’s only 2009. Sure, one uses a giant Web crawler to index billions of pages, and the other uses a giant arsenal of automated nuclear super-weapons to extinguish the human race. But petty discrepancies aside, they’re virtual twins. Don’t believe it? Take a look at the tale of the tape:
||September 4, 1998
||August 4, 1997
||U.S. Military via NORAD
||Cybergeek PhD students
||Eliminate 404 error
||Eliminate human military error
||Menlo Park, CA
|Scaled Up By
||Selling keyword advertising
||Gaining sentience and self-awareness
||$31.76 billion USD
||B2 Bombers; American nuclear arsenal
||$1.1 million initial investment
||~3 billion human lives
||NASA/Ames, Sun Microsystems, AOL Time Warner, News Corp, GeoEye
||Army of cyborg terminators
||Named after a misspelling of the word “googol.”
||Saw Spielberg’s AI; cried.
||Experimental search engine called “BackRub.”
||A microprocessor invented by Miles Bennett Dyson.
||Begins selling keyword advertising in 2000, leading to a market cap of $23 billion at 2004 IPO.
||Of its own volition, nukes Russia on August 29, 1997, aka “Judgment Day,” sparking catastrophic nuclear conflict.
|Unforeseen Turn of Events
||Creates smartphone platform. Uh oh, Apple!
||Designates all human life as enemy. Uh oh, humans!
||Making cool products; not being evil.
||Anger, fear, insecurity.
||Smart Google Labs projects like Gmail, Maps, Docs and Scholar
||The hording of a heat-resistant metal called coltan, used to make Terminator exoskeletons.
||Achieves 70% market share, which makes users and regulators increasingly uncomfortable.
||Allowing a small group of humans to survive, in order to run incinerator necessary for post-genocide clean-up. Camp worker John Connor frees this group to form insurgency.
||A very competitive, litigious, and well-capitalized Microsoft.
||Kyle Reese, sent back in time by Connor to protect his own mother, Sarah, later impregnating her and becoming John Connor’s father.
|Can Only Be Defeated By
||Inevitable anti-trust litigation
||The surprisingly durable reprise of the Governator
|Blows Your Mind By…
||Providing its pimply, energetic employees with one free day per week to mess around with pet projects.
||Violating the Novikov self-consistency principle, which asserts that any time-travel event that could change the past would reduce its own probability to zero.
||Sue for privacy violations committed by Street View van, and lose.
||Crush original Terminator in hydraulic press and steal his arm.
||Search “Worst band in the world,” you are pushed to search results for the band Creed.
||Drop a Terminator in molten steel, he melts at a theatrically slow pace.
||Google Groups contains over 845 million messages, the world’s largest body of written human conversation.
||Dept. of Defense tries to use SkyNet to remove a rogue virus from its computers. Turns out SkyNet is the virus! Bummer!
|Would Be Lonely Without…
||You to burn
|Bet You Didn’t Know
||Google Maps has mapped a chunk of Mars.
||The female Terminatrix in Terminator 3 is a composite of T-800 and T-1000 and is powered by an onboard “plasma reactor.”
|Seems to Think…
||That vertical search engines like SourceTool can be squeezed out with bad advertising rates.
||That humans are eager to nuke each other into oblivion at the slightest provocation.
||Uses a secret algorithm to assign “quality scores” to advertisers’ sites, on which it bases ad rates.
||Takes the concept of “cybernetic revolt” pioneered in films like 1927’s Metropolis to the next badass level.
|Solution to Potential Undoing
||T-800; T-1000; later, a hot lady Terminator (T-X)
||450,000 servers all over the earth, with no central nervous system that can be destroyed.
||Every computer on earth, with no central nervous system that can be destroyed.
||An advanced empire across the Earth, ready by 2009
||An advanced empire across the Earth, ready by 2029.
||Enjoy the new Gmail themes!
||See the new Terminator movie. And die, already.